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Gingers and Spiral Gingers

Gingers (family Zingiberaceae), are famous for the fragrance of their flowers, leaves, stems, and even roots. The spices ginger and turmeric both come from the roots of plants in this family, while cardomom is derived from the seeds of another species. Many species are grown for their attractive and perfumed flowers.

The closely related spiral gingers (family Costaceae) are mainly found in the New World tropics, and are easy to recognize. Their leaves are produced in a spiral staircase arrangement around the stem, preventing each leaf from shading those immediately below it. No spices come from spiral gingers, but some of them are grown as ornamentals.

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